Bell Elementary fifth-graders faced solving a mystery on their field trip to Tyler Junior College: figuring out who stole the wicked witch's remains after she burned up.

Dr. Byron Howell, TJC chemistry professor and coordinator of the college's microscale chemistry center, challenged the visiting Bell students in the TJC science lab to examine several powders from suspects to see which one matched a known powder from the witch's remains.

The remains would either be baking powder, sugar, salt or flour. Howell varied the answer from class to class so that students who had finished the lab could not tell the answer to students just starting the lab.

Kind of like a CSI game, the whodunit exercise was really a lesson about being observant for chemical and physical properties, Howell said. The students looked at texture, color, solubility, whether a powder conducted electricity, determined which powder absorbs energy and other characteristics of the powders.

"It was kind of an interesting problem to solve," Juis Garcia, 10, said. "We had to look at the powders very carefully to see if they look suspicious." Jonathan Romero, 10, said, "We are investigating and doing science at the same time."

Keyli Noreira, 10, said science class trips to TJC are "exciting because this is going to be my future college and I get to learn more about it every day I come. I'm comfortable doing these experiments. I love science and reading."

TJC initiated the science collaboration with Bell Elementary last year. It consists of fifth-grade science classes coming to the college campus every few weeks for science lessons in college science labs.

The collaboration is the biggest element and an expansion of a partnership in which TJC "adopted" Bell, sending college students over to mentor elementary students about reading, and letting elementary students come to TJC to see "The Nutcracker" and other activities.

Bell Principal Dr. Keri Hampton said she thought the science collaboration is "a great opportunity for our students to be on the college campus, to see what it's like to be a college student and to work in (TJC's) classrooms and labs."

"Dr. Howell makes it hands-on, fun and engaging for our students," she said. "Our kids have absolutely enjoyed every minute of going over there and they (TJC educators) are so wonderful to work with."

Bell students gain an understanding about what it's like to be a scientist and they get the experience of walking onto a college campus, the principal said.

Howell, who heads the science collaboration, said TJC wanted to give Bell fifth-graders an opportunity to come on campus and see what it would be like to do science at the college level.

Josiah Benitez, 10, is pleased that Bell is the only school that gets to participate in the the collaboration with TJC, which is only about a block from the school. Bell students usually walk to the college although Tyler ISD provides school bus transportation some days, especially during inclement weather.

Before Bell students began going to TJC, Howell and the Bell fifth-grade faculty together looked at state requirements and standards for the fifth-grade science curriculum and Howell aligned the science presentations at TJC with the curriculum.

Howell brings in his teaching assistants and others in the TJC science department, volunteers and even members of his family to help with the science labs for the fifth-graders. An average session has eight to 10 adult supervisors. About 35 to 40 people are involved at different times.

"It's strictly a volunteer effort," Howell said. "For so many people involved, it's amazed me how smoothly it's gone." 

During an upcoming trip to TJC titled "Meet the Physicist," Bell fifth graders will see a planetarium exhibit and learn about sound, sound waves, sound energy and the role sound plays.

In the "Meet the Geologist" session, they will work in the TJC geology lab, look at fossils and talk to a geologist about careers in geology.

By the end of the school year, Howell said, Bell fifth-graders will have met a chemist and worked in a chemistry lab, met a physicist and worked in a physics lab, met a geologist and worked in a geology lab, met an astronomer and worked in the TJC planetarium, met a biologist and worked in a biology lab and worked in the Vaughn Conservatory.

In the conservatory, they learned how soil types affect plant growth, why certain plants adapt the way they do, why a cactus does not have leaves while a tropical plant has big leaves, why some seeds are small with little covering and other seeds are big with thicker covering and why some seeds have to be planted deeper than others. 

Occasionally the fifth-graders tour exhibits in TJC's Center for Science and Space Earth Education, such as an earthquake exhibit and an exhibit about scientist Leonardo da Vinci.

Howell voiced hope that the science activities at TJC will motivate Bell fifth-graders to talk about science concepts, apply science concepts and perform better on state assessments in science.

Benitez said, "It's a good program. It's cool that the professors want to help teach some little kids too. TJC is a popular college and it's real cool that this school (Bell) is the only school that gets to go over there and work in their science lab. I really enjoy it because we get to work with partners."

Yulissa Arriada, 10, said, "I think it's fun to come. They (TJC personnel) are nice to us and I also like the fact you get to experiment in the science lab with different particles and you get to investigate with other people in a partnership and learn more."

Bell students look forward to going to TJC and often ask when they can go again, Kendra Bircher, Bell fifth-grade math and science teacher, said.

This year TJC and Bell worked together to make sure that visits to the TJC science labs are perfectly aligned in scope and sequence to the school curriculum so that students can make connections between what they are learning at Bell and the science experiments at TJC, Ms. Bircher, said.

Besides those connections, she said, it's extending students' thinking about what they are learning in class at Bell. "Our goal is to get our kids deeper than the actual content that we teach because we want to accelerate them and get them to be critical thinkers," Ms. Bircher said. 

"I believe the students gain real life experiences and they are getting to see what college feels like," she also said.

"TJC is a supplement to what I do here (at Bell)," Ms. Bircher said. For example, when she taught the students about matter, energy and safety, they were able to extend their thinking at TJC by looking at earthquakes and natural disasters.

Students maintain a composition notebook at the TJC science lab and at Bell where they record their observations. "We always go back and look at things we have done and reflect on those things," Ms. Bircher said.

TWITTER: @TMT_BettyWith pictures

 

BY BETTY WATERS, blw@tylerpaper.com

 

Bell Elementary fifth-graders faced solving a mystery on their field trip to Tyler Junior College: figuring out who stole the wicked witch's remains after she burned up.

 

Dr. Byron Howell, TJC chemistry professor and coordinator of the college's microscale chemistry center, challenged the visiting Bell students in the TJC science lab to examine several powders from suspects to see which one matched a known powder from the witch's remains.

 

The remains would either be baking powder, sugar, salt or flour. Howell varied the answer from class to class so that students who had finished the lab could not tell the answer to students just starting the lab.

 

Kind of like a CSI game, the whodunit exercise was really a lesson about being observant for chemical and physical properties, Howell said. The students looked at texture, color, solubility, whether a powder conducted electricity, determined which powder absorbs energy and other characteristics of the powders.

 

"It was kind of an interesting problem to solve," Juis Garcia, 10, said. "We had to look at the powders very carefully to see if they look suspicious." Jonathan Romero, 10, said, "We are investigating and doing science at the same time."

 

Keyli Noreira, 10, said science class trips to TJC are "exciting because this is going to be my future college and I get to learn more about it every day I come. I'm comfortable doing these experiments. I love science and reading."

 

TJC initiated the science collaboration with Bell Elementary last year. It consists of fifth-grade science classes coming to the college campus every few weeks for science lessons in college science labs.

 

The collaboration is the biggest element and an expansion of a partnership in which TJC "adopted" Bell, sending college students over to mentor elementary students about reading, and letting elementary students come to TJC to see "The Nutcracker" and other activities.

 

Bell Principal Dr. Keri Hampton said she thought the science collaboration is "a great opportunity for our students to be on the college campus, to see what it's like to be a college student and to work in (TJC's) classrooms and labs."

 

"Dr. Howell makes it hands-on, fun and engaging for our students," she said. "Our kids have absolutely enjoyed every minute of going over there and they (TJC educators) are so wonderful to work with."

 

Bell students gain an understanding about what it's like to be a scientist and they get the experience of walking onto a college campus, the principal said.

 

Howell, who heads the science collaboration, said TJC wanted to give Bell fifth-graders an opportunity to come on campus and see what it would be like to do science at the college level.

 

Josiah Benitez, 10, is pleased that Bell is the only school that gets to participate in the the collaboration with TJC, which is only about a block from the school. Bell students usually walk to the college although Tyler ISD provides school bus transportation some days, especially during inclement weather.

 

Before Bell students began going to TJC, Howell and the Bell fifth-grade faculty together looked at state requirements and standards for the fifth-grade science curriculum and Howell aligned the science presentations at TJC with the curriculum.

 

Howell brings in his teaching assistants and others in the TJC science department, volunteers and even members of his family to help with the science labs for the fifth-graders. An average session has eight to 10 adult supervisors. About 35 to 40 people are involved at different times.

 

"It's strictly a volunteer effort," Howell said. "For so many people involved, it's amazed me how smoothly it's gone." 

 

During an upcoming trip to TJC titled "Meet the Physicist," Bell fifth graders will see a planetarium exhibit and learn about sound, sound waves, sound energy and the role sound plays.

 

In the "Meet the Geologist" session, they will work in the TJC geology lab, look at fossils and talk to a geologist about careers in geology.

 

By the end of the school year, Howell said, Bell fifth-graders will have met a chemist and worked in a chemistry lab, met a physicist and worked in a physics lab, met a geologist and worked in a geology lab, met an astronomer and worked in the TJC planetarium, met a biologist and worked in a biology lab and worked in the Vaughn Conservatory.

 

In the conservatory, they learned how soil types affect plant growth, why certain plants adapt the way they do, why a cactus does not have leaves while a tropical plant has big leaves, why some seeds are small with little covering and other seeds are big with thicker covering and why some seeds have to be planted deeper than others. 

 

Occasionally the fifth-graders tour exhibits in TJC's Center for Science and Space Earth Education, such as an earthquake exhibit and an exhibit about scientist Leonardo da Vinci.

 

Howell voiced hope that the science activities at TJC will motivate Bell fifth-graders to talk about science concepts, apply science concepts and perform better on state assessments in science.

 

Benitez said, "It's a good program. It's cool that the professors want to help teach some little kids too. TJC is a popular college and it's real cool that this school (Bell) is the only school that gets to go over there and work in their science lab. I really enjoy it because we get to work with partners."

 

Yulissa Arriada, 10, said, "I think it's fun to come. They (TJC personnel) are nice to us and I also like the fact you get to experiment in the science lab with different particles and you get to investigate with other people in a partnership and learn more."

 

Bell students look forward to going to TJC and often ask when they can go again, Kendra Bircher, Bell fifth-grade math and science teacher, said.

 

This year TJC and Bell worked together to make sure that visits to the TJC science labs are perfectly aligned in scope and sequence to the school curriculum so that students can make connections between what they are learning at Bell and the science experiments at TJC, Ms. Bircher, said.

 

Besides those connections, she said, it's extending students' thinking about what they are learning in class at Bell. "Our goal is to get our kids deeper than the actual content that we teach because we want to accelerate them and get them to be critical thinkers," Ms. Bircher said. 

 

"I believe the students gain real life experiences and they are getting to see what college feels like," she also said.

 

"TJC is a supplement to what I do here (at Bell)," Ms. Bircher said. For example, when she taught the students about matter, energy and safety, they were able to extend their thinking at TJC by looking at earthquakes and natural disasters.

 

Students maintain a composition notebook at the TJC science lab and at Bell where they record their observations. "We always go back and look at things we have done and reflect on those things," Ms. Bircher said.

 

TWITTER: @TMT_Betty

 

 

 

 

With pictures

 

BY BETTY WATERS, blw@tylerpaper.com

 

Bell Elementary fifth-graders faced solving a mystery on their field trip to Tyler Junior College: figuring out who stole the wicked witch's remains after she burned up.

 

Dr. Byron Howell, TJC chemistry professor and coordinator of the college's microscale chemistry center, challenged the visiting Bell students in the TJC science lab to examine several powders from suspects to see which one matched a known powder from the witch's remains.

 

The remains would either be baking powder, sugar, salt or flour. Howell varied the answer from class to class so that students who had finished the lab could not tell the answer to students just starting the lab.

 

Kind of like a CSI game, the whodunit exercise was really a lesson about being observant for chemical and physical properties, Howell said. The students looked at texture, color, solubility, whether a powder conducted electricity, determined which powder absorbs energy and other characteristics of the powders.

 

"It was kind of an interesting problem to solve," Juis Garcia, 10, said. "We had to look at the powders very carefully to see if they look suspicious." Jonathan Romero, 10, said, "We are investigating and doing science at the same time."

 

Keyli Noreira, 10, said science class trips to TJC are "exciting because this is going to be my future college and I get to learn more about it every day I come. I'm comfortable doing these experiments. I love science and reading."

 

TJC initiated the science collaboration with Bell Elementary last year. It consists of fifth-grade science classes coming to the college campus every few weeks for science lessons in college science labs.

 

The collaboration is the biggest element and an expansion of a partnership in which TJC "adopted" Bell, sending college students over to mentor elementary students about reading, and letting elementary students come to TJC to see "The Nutcracker" and other activities.

 

Bell Principal Dr. Keri Hampton said she thought the science collaboration is "a great opportunity for our students to be on the college campus, to see what it's like to be a college student and to work in (TJC's) classrooms and labs."

 

"Dr. Howell makes it hands-on, fun and engaging for our students," she said. "Our kids have absolutely enjoyed every minute of going over there and they (TJC educators) are so wonderful to work with."

 

Bell students gain an understanding about what it's like to be a scientist and they get the experience of walking onto a college campus, the principal said.

 

Howell, who heads the science collaboration, said TJC wanted to give Bell fifth-graders an opportunity to come on campus and see what it would be like to do science at the college level.

 

Josiah Benitez, 10, is pleased that Bell is the only school that gets to participate in the the collaboration with TJC, which is only about a block from the school. Bell students usually walk to the college although Tyler ISD provides school bus transportation some days, especially during inclement weather.

 

Before Bell students began going to TJC, Howell and the Bell fifth-grade faculty together looked at state requirements and standards for the fifth-grade science curriculum and Howell aligned the science presentations at TJC with the curriculum.

 

Howell brings in his teaching assistants and others in the TJC science department, volunteers and even members of his family to help with the science labs for the fifth-graders. An average session has eight to 10 adult supervisors. About 35 to 40 people are involved at different times.

 

"It's strictly a volunteer effort," Howell said. "For so many people involved, it's amazed me how smoothly it's gone." 

 

During an upcoming trip to TJC titled "Meet the Physicist," Bell fifth graders will see a planetarium exhibit and learn about sound, sound waves, sound energy and the role sound plays.

 

In the "Meet the Geologist" session, they will work in the TJC geology lab, look at fossils and talk to a geologist about careers in geology.

 

By the end of the school year, Howell said, Bell fifth-graders will have met a chemist and worked in a chemistry lab, met a physicist and worked in a physics lab, met a geologist and worked in a geology lab, met an astronomer and worked in the TJC planetarium, met a biologist and worked in a biology lab and worked in the Vaughn Conservatory.

 

In the conservatory, they learned how soil types affect plant growth, why certain plants adapt the way they do, why a cactus does not have leaves while a tropical plant has big leaves, why some seeds are small with little covering and other seeds are big with thicker covering and why some seeds have to be planted deeper than others. 

 

Occasionally the fifth-graders tour exhibits in TJC's Center for Science and Space Earth Education, such as an earthquake exhibit and an exhibit about scientist Leonardo da Vinci.

 

Howell voiced hope that the science activities at TJC will motivate Bell fifth-graders to talk about science concepts, apply science concepts and perform better on state assessments in science.

 

Benitez said, "It's a good program. It's cool that the professors want to help teach some little kids too. TJC is a popular college and it's real cool that this school (Bell) is the only school that gets to go over there and work in their science lab. I really enjoy it because we get to work with partners."

 

Yulissa Arriada, 10, said, "I think it's fun to come. They (TJC personnel) are nice to us and I also like the fact you get to experiment in the science lab with different particles and you get to investigate with other people in a partnership and learn more."

 

Bell students look forward to going to TJC and often ask when they can go again, Kendra Bircher, Bell fifth-grade math and science teacher, said.

 

This year TJC and Bell worked together to make sure that visits to the TJC science labs are perfectly aligned in scope and sequence to the school curriculum so that students can make connections between what they are learning at Bell and the science experiments at TJC, Ms. Bircher, said.

 

Besides those connections, she said, it's extending students' thinking about what they are learning in class at Bell. "Our goal is to get our kids deeper than the actual content that we teach because we want to accelerate them and get them to be critical thinkers," Ms. Bircher said. 

 

"I believe the students gain real life experiences and they are getting to see what college feels like," she also said.

 

"TJC is a supplement to what I do here (at Bell)," Ms. Bircher said. For example, when she taught the students about matter, energy and safety, they were able to extend their thinking at TJC by looking at earthquakes and natural disasters.

 

Students maintain a composition notebook at the TJC science lab and at Bell where they record their observations. "We always go back and look at things we have done and reflect on those things," Ms. Bircher said.

 

TWITTER: @TMT_Betty

 

 

 

 

With pictures

 

BY BETTY WATERS, blw@tylerpaper.com

 

Bell Elementary fifth-graders faced solving a mystery on their field trip to Tyler Junior College: figuring out who stole the wicked witch's remains after she burned up.

 

Dr. Byron Howell, TJC chemistry professor and coordinator of the college's microscale chemistry center, challenged the visiting Bell students in the TJC science lab to examine several powders from suspects to see which one matched a known powder from the witch's remains.

 

The remains would either be baking powder, sugar, salt or flour. Howell varied the answer from class to class so that students who had finished the lab could not tell the answer to students just starting the lab.

 

Kind of like a CSI game, the whodunit exercise was really a lesson about being observant for chemical and physical properties, Howell said. The students looked at texture, color, solubility, whether a powder conducted electricity, determined which powder absorbs energy and other characteristics of the powders.

 

"It was kind of an interesting problem to solve," Juis Garcia, 10, said. "We had to look at the powders very carefully to see if they look suspicious." Jonathan Romero, 10, said, "We are investigating and doing science at the same time."

 

Keyli Noreira, 10, said science class trips to TJC are "exciting because this is going to be my future college and I get to learn more about it every day I come. I'm comfortable doing these experiments. I love science and reading."

 

TJC initiated the science collaboration with Bell Elementary last year. It consists of fifth-grade science classes coming to the college campus every few weeks for science lessons in college science labs.

 

The collaboration is the biggest element and an expansion of a partnership in which TJC "adopted" Bell, sending college students over to mentor elementary students about reading, and letting elementary students come to TJC to see "The Nutcracker" and other activities.

 

Bell Principal Dr. Keri Hampton said she thought the science collaboration is "a great opportunity for our students to be on the college campus, to see what it's like to be a college student and to work in (TJC's) classrooms and labs."

 

"Dr. Howell makes it hands-on, fun and engaging for our students," she said. "Our kids have absolutely enjoyed every minute of going over there and they (TJC educators) are so wonderful to work with."

 

Bell students gain an understanding about what it's like to be a scientist and they get the experience of walking onto a college campus, the principal said.

 

Howell, who heads the science collaboration, said TJC wanted to give Bell fifth-graders an opportunity to come on campus and see what it would be like to do science at the college level.

 

Josiah Benitez, 10, is pleased that Bell is the only school that gets to participate in the the collaboration with TJC, which is only about a block from the school. Bell students usually walk to the college although Tyler ISD provides school bus transportation some days, especially during inclement weather.

 

Before Bell students began going to TJC, Howell and the Bell fifth-grade faculty together looked at state requirements and standards for the fifth-grade science curriculum and Howell aligned the science presentations at TJC with the curriculum.

 

Howell brings in his teaching assistants and others in the TJC science department, volunteers and even members of his family to help with the science labs for the fifth-graders. An average session has eight to 10 adult supervisors. About 35 to 40 people are involved at different times.

 

"It's strictly a volunteer effort," Howell said. "For so many people involved, it's amazed me how smoothly it's gone." 

 

During an upcoming trip to TJC titled "Meet the Physicist," Bell fifth graders will see a planetarium exhibit and learn about sound, sound waves, sound energy and the role sound plays.

 

In the "Meet the Geologist" session, they will work in the TJC geology lab, look at fossils and talk to a geologist about careers in geology.

 

By the end of the school year, Howell said, Bell fifth-graders will have met a chemist and worked in a chemistry lab, met a physicist and worked in a physics lab, met a geologist and worked in a geology lab, met an astronomer and worked in the TJC planetarium, met a biologist and worked in a biology lab and worked in the Vaughn Conservatory.

 

In the conservatory, they learned how soil types affect plant growth, why certain plants adapt the way they do, why a cactus does not have leaves while a tropical plant has big leaves, why some seeds are small with little covering and other seeds are big with thicker covering and why some seeds have to be planted deeper than others. 

 

Occasionally the fifth-graders tour exhibits in TJC's Center for Science and Space Earth Education, such as an earthquake exhibit and an exhibit about scientist Leonardo da Vinci.

 

Howell voiced hope that the science activities at TJC will motivate Bell fifth-graders to talk about science concepts, apply science concepts and perform better on state assessments in science.

 

Benitez said, "It's a good program. It's cool that the professors want to help teach some little kids too. TJC is a popular college and it's real cool that this school (Bell) is the only school that gets to go over there and work in their science lab. I really enjoy it because we get to work with partners."

 

Yulissa Arriada, 10, said, "I think it's fun to come. They (TJC personnel) are nice to us and I also like the fact you get to experiment in the science lab with different particles and you get to investigate with other people in a partnership and learn more."

 

Bell students look forward to going to TJC and often ask when they can go again, Kendra Bircher, Bell fifth-grade math and science teacher, said.

 

This year TJC and Bell worked together to make sure that visits to the TJC science labs are perfectly aligned in scope and sequence to the school curriculum so that students can make connections between what they are learning at Bell and the science experiments at TJC, Ms. Bircher, said.

 

Besides those connections, she said, it's extending students' thinking about what they are learning in class at Bell. "Our goal is to get our kids deeper than the actual content that we teach because we want to accelerate them and get them to be critical thinkers," Ms. Bircher said. 

 

"I believe the students gain real life experiences and they are getting to see what college feels like," she also said.

 

"TJC is a supplement to what I do here (at Bell)," Ms. Bircher said. For example, when she taught the students about matter, energy and safety, they were able to extend their thinking at TJC by looking at earthquakes and natural disasters.

 

Students maintain a composition notebook at the TJC science lab and at Bell where they record their observations. "We always go back and look at things we have done and reflect on those things," Ms. Bircher said.

 

TWITTER: @TMT_Betty

 

 

 

 

 

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